This less sweet but still to-die-for-delicious and easy Banoffee Parfait is inspired by the classic pie by the same name. The traditional Banoffee pie has a buttery biscuit base layered with fresh bananas, whipped cream, gooey caramel sauce and if that wasn’t enough, crushed Crunchie bars or chocolate shavings. Totally indulgent, totally fantastic but a bit too sweet and loaded for my conscience!

Banoffee Pie originated in east Sussex in the early 70s, created by Ian Dowding, chef at the Hungry Monk. It became instantly popular on the restaurant’s menu and soon it’s popularity spread to other restaurants and countries as well. The original recipe had a pastry base but as the recipe evolved the biscuit base became more popular. I find it lighter, delicious and, unlike shortcrust, it doesn’t go soggy at the bottom after a few hours, which means one can prepare it ahead of time and enjoy hours after it has been assembled.

There are many ways of making the toffee/caramel layer too. Ian Dowding made it by slow simmering the condensed milk in it’s tin for hours. You can also make it by cooking together brown sugar, butter, condensed milk and vanilla. This is a quicker method. A healthier version is to remove stones from dates and purée them with water and a little vanilla essence till they are soft till creamy like caramel sauce.

Different chefs have different preferences for the top layer too; some like to top it with chocolate shavings, some with coffee and others with cinnamon. Coffee cuts through the sweetness of caramel, while cinnamon adds a milder, fragrant dimension of sweet to the dessert.

Now for my take on this recipe. Even for a caramel and chocolate addict like me, the original Banoffee Pie is a bit too much with all the butter and whipped cream going in. But since I love the caramel and banana combination, I decided to convert it into something less guilty, something I can even enjoy for breakfast and also assemble quickly.

I prefer to make the toffee/caramel sauce the traditional way, by slow simmering the condensed milk can. Actually I boil and simmer 3-4 cans at a time and store them in my pantry just like that, ready to be used when required. But when I’m feeling more health conscious, I go for the dates sauce which turns out equally yummy.

If making the parfaits for a dessert, I prefer a biscuit base but for breakfast, there is nothing like some beautifully toasted muesli to add crunch and flavour variation to the layers. The only sweetness comes from bananas and the caramel layer in this parfait.

Now that you know all the different versions, feel free to experiment with your Banoffee Parfait and make it sinful or saintly to suit your mood.


For The Base:

12 sugar free digestive biscuits or 1 cup toasted muesli (mixed oats and nuts)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

For The Filling:

10 dates, puréed
A few drops vanilla essence

4 bananas, sliced

For The Topping:

1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups thick yogurt
2 tablespoons crushed biscuits or muesli (mixed oats and nuts)

This Is What You Do:

To make the dates sauce, remove stones from dates. Purée with 2 tablespoons hot water and a few drops vanilla essence to make smooth and creamy sauce.

Whizz the biscuits with olive oil to crumbs in a food processor or put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin, stir together with olive oil.
Or use muesli for base, toast it lightly in a pan with olive oil till aromatic.

Spoon the base mixture into individual glasses or bowls equally. Top it with a layer of dates sauce. Arrange the banana slices over it in circles.

Finally the yogurt and crushed biscuits or muesli for a textural contrast, sprinkled with a little cinnamon powder.

Refrigerate till chilled.

Serves 4

6 Replies to “Healthy Banoffee Parfait”

  1. Banoffee is one of our favorite flavors, usually enjoyed in ice cream. You just gave us a more interesting version to try and we ‘re really excited to make this soon:)
    Thank you dear Maria!
    Panos and Mirella

    1. Thank you my dear friends, Panos and Mirella! 🙂 I’m so happy you find these ideas interesting 🙂 When it’s about recreating a traditional recipe, I always try to keep the basic flavours intact while playing with ingredients. These are some of the results I really enjoyed 🙂
      Oh and when I’m feeling a little naughty, I also love to make one with ice-cream 🙂
      Thanks again, always good talking to you! xx

    1. If you are not feeling very health conscious, make it with ice cream…that’s how my elder daughter likes it :)) It tastes divine 😉 Thank you lovely Anitha 🙂 xx

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